As Rev. McKinney remembered, his Mount Zion Baptist Church set to become Seattle landmark

Tuesday, a celebration of the life of Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney was held at McCaw Hall following the civil rights leader’s death at the age of 91 early last month. Now, legislation is in motion to designate McKinney’s home church at 19th and Madison as an official Seattle landmark and protect the building’s architectural features.

“Landmark status is reserved for locations in our City that have been of exceptional value to social, political, architectural or community causes – and in the long history of Mount Zion Baptist Church, it has contributed greatly to all of these and more,” an announcement of the legislation from Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office reads. Continue reading

Historic Gaffney House set to hit the market, again, at 17th and Madison leaving vulnerable residents in need of new homes

After a previous real estate effort was put on hold, families with loved ones at 17th and Madison’s Gaffney House know this time it is different. Families are beginning the process of searching for new homes for their grandparents, parents, brothers, and sisters after being informed the small-scale assisted living facility for residents living with dementia is being closed as part of a plan to sell off the valuable property.

“My dad is there. I’m a wreck,” one family member who contacted CHS about the notice said. “This place is a savior for a dozen and a half people.”

Dave Budd, executive director of Full Life Care which has operated the facility since it opened in 2004, confirmed the notices have been given to residents and family members as part of legal requirements as the nonprofit prepares to close down the facility and its parent Transforming Age readies the property to again hit the real estate market. Continue reading

Groups announce First Hill plan for Seattle’s ‘largest’ affordable housing building

Nonprofit developers Bellwether Housing and Plymouth Housing Group announced Monday morning that they are moving forward on an affordable housing project on surplus Sound Transit land on First Hill. The project will be “the largest building constructed by any affordable housing provider in Seattle, with 12 to 15 floors of housing over a floor of retail, service, and community space.”

Sound Transit has agreed to transfer to the two organizations at “zero-cost” following a November decision on what to do with the land originally acquired for a never-built First Hill light rail station at the corner of Madison and Boylston. Continue reading

Sunny days for Capitol Hill solar with plans for Miller ‘microgrid,’ five years of Bullitt Center

Happy 5th birthday, Bullitt Center

Sunday — Earth Day 2018 — Capitol Hill’s Bullitt Center at 15th and Madison celebrated five years at “the greenest office building” in the world. At this point, Earth Day is probably the kind of thing we should think about all year round. A new project at Capitol Hill’s Miller Community Center is set to make the Seattle Parks facility part of an important test case for the city with plans for a $3.3 million solar microgrid to be installed in early 2019.

“Seattle is a leader in climate change, and with this project, we are adding sustainable, emission-free energy to the community,” Mayor Jenny Durkan said in the announcement of the project to be funded through City Light investing $1.8 million and a $1.5 million state Clean Energy Fund matching grant from the Washington Department of Commerce. “Protecting our environment and lowering operating costs of our facilities makes good economic sense and is an important step as we move towards becoming a green economy.”

The $3.3 million “demonstration project” microgrid is expected to reduce the amount of electricity Seattle Parks buys from Seattle City Light, while saving about $4,000 annually, and about $70,000 over the 14-year life of the project, the city says. Continue reading

Man charged in Planned Parenthood crash and store assault

The man police say shattered the teeth of a victim he punched inside a nearby grocery store after crashing his car into the barriers outside E Madison’s Planned Parenthood last Wednesday has been charged for the assault and the damage but not for targeting the provider of women’s health services, according to court records filed in the case.

Charlie Armstead, 35, has been charged with second degree assault, fourth degree assault, and malicious mischief in the morning melee that included smashed cars and Planned Parenthood employees going into lockdown mode during the incident. Continue reading

Man arrested after barrier rammed outside E Madison Planned Parenthood, assault at nearby store

Police interview a witness outside the E Madison Planned Parenthood Wednesday morning (Image: CHS)

Police took a man into custody Wednesday morning who appeared to be high on drugs and experiencing a mental crisis after he reportedly rammed his car into a barrier outside the E Madison Planned Parenthood, crashed into cars on nearby streets, and seriously injured a man he attacked inside the nearby Safeway.

According to East Precinct radio dispatches, staff at Planned Parenthood initiated security protocols at the E Madison facility after the crash around 9:30 AM. The building was not damaged by the crash but barriers were smashed in the collision. Continue reading

20th Ave townhouse project set to rise where six-story development plan was nixed

With plans for a much bigger apartment building falling through, a development to create a set of townhouses on 20th Ave just off E Madison will take its first run through the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

Wednesday’s session will cover two neighboring development projects from the same developer and architects as the board will handle both sets of rowhouses destined to rise in the 1700 block of 20th Ave with one review:

Design Review: 1711 20th Ave

Continue reading

Mount Zion’s Rev. McKinney remembered for civil rights legacy

McKinney in 2015

Rev. Dr. Samuel B. McKinney spent his life serving the community including some six decades of service at 19th and Madison. The pastor emeritus of Mount Zion Baptist Church died Saturday at the age of 91.

McKinney left the pulpit in 1998 after 40 years leading Mount Zion and remained a steady presence for the congregation and the city’s Black community. But at January’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. at Mount Zion, McKinney was unable to attend and appeared to the assembly via a recorded address on the church’s video screen. Continue reading

Amid U.S. expulsion, Russian diplomats given until end of April to move out of $4M Madison Park mansion

Russian consular officials have until late April to vacate the $4 million historic Madison Park mansion the state department has provided them with since 1994.

U.S. Dept. of State officials have given the diplomats until April 24th to leave the property that has been used as the residence for the Russian government’s Consulate General in Seattle since the department’s Office of Foreign Missions acquired the 1910-built landmark in what King County records say was a $1.1 million transaction in April 1994.

The United States has withdrawn its consent for Russia’s consular post in Seattle, “in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations,” CHS is told. The state department could not provide details of any financial arrangements related to the Russian use of the U.S. government-owned diplomatic residence. Continue reading

Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse warms up at 15th and Madison

Chocolate and coffee? Intriguing.

The new Intrigue Chocolate and Coffeehouse has been warming up with some test runs serving friends and family at 15th and Madison. Neighbors should be able to stop through for a quiet opening later this week as things get fully up to speed at the new cafe.

Aaron Barthel and Karl Mueller started Intrigue in Pioneer Square as a forum for chocolate as an art, not a science. “Aaron likes to use chocolate as a medium to express what he knows about flavor,” Mueller told CHS when we talked to him in October about their plans for 15th and Madison. Continue reading